Female football in focus at GFF/GGA four-day camp

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By Avenash Ramzan

The Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) intensified focus on Women’s football development received a shot in the arm with the Guyana Girls Academy (GGA), an overseas-based body, partnering with the local federation to host a four-day football camp for young girls, starting this Wednesday (July 26).

The camp, which will kick off at the Transport Sports Club on Thomas Lands, is geared towards giving young girls a peek into the GGA, as well as creating more interest in Girls’ football.

This camp, which is the first to be conducted by the body since its formation last year, will conclude on July 28 and is open to girls ages seven to 11. The camp will allow the Guyanese to get a taste of the Academy and girls football with an elite coaching staff in a professional environment, on and off the field.

Technical Director Ian Greenwood said the programme forms part of the GFF’s plan to holistically develop female football.

“I think the collaboration between the two entities would be very positive. We know Mr. Wilson is here for a few days and after he’s gone the girls will be involved in the GFF/Scotiabank Academy Programmes and Grassroot Programmes so all year round they would have lots of opportunities to practice. It’s really, really important that we get as many young girls involved in football at an early age as possible to really improve the state of football at the moment,” Greenwood said.

President of the GFF, Wayne Forde, while embracing the initiative, noted that it is another element in a concerted effort by the Federation to bring focus and relevance to the Women’s game in Guyana.

“I think the Guyana football fraternity and the general public would have seen over the past couple of months the efforts being made by the Executive Committee through our ever hardworking Technical Director to bring some focus and structure to Women’s football. We’re nowhere close to where we have to be in a couple of years, but these partnerships that are being built right now will certainly add impetus to the direction we want to take female football,” Forde indicated.

The Federation recently appointed Tricia Munroe as Women’s Development Officer in an effort to bring structure to female football, but Forde indicated that the process has had its fair share of challenges.

“I know this is the first phase of the project Mr. Wilson is undertaking. He’s going to have a first-hand opportunity on the realities of Guyana’s football and some of the challenges that we confront on a daily basis to organise and execute our programme. It was very discouraging to myself personally that we were unable to secure a couple of venues that no doubt would have been more suited for the programme that he is bringing to Guyana and the girls, but it is the reality of where we are,” Forde declared.

Forde further stated that he assured the GGA team that come 2018 the programme would be at a GFF facility as plans for the commencement of construction are in motion.

President and Director of GGA, Colin Wilson, who is also a Women’s football coach, said he is looking forward to working with young girls in this inaugural camp.

“The idea is to get as many girls as possible. Obviously with me being up in the States I  only have so many resources down here in Guyana so with a few of the connections that I made down here with the GFF and a few friends from ABSAA as well, I was able to reach out to a few girls here in Georgetown and also surrounding areas,” Wilson explained. 

Wilson explained the medium to long-term plan of the initiative, which initially is expected to be held once yearly.

“In about 5-10 years I’m hoping that we would have our own facility or be able to share a facility with one of the other organisations so we can actually have a year round Girls Academy so they can train,” Wilson projected.

Wednesday’s session will commence at 09:00h.

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